Kolin has been fought out by Jonathan Freitag several times, and can be found on his blog here. I used the exact same set up that he did, in an effort to see whether the Prussians had any chance at all. My plan was to fulfill Frederick's original intention of an oblique attack to the best of my ability - attack on the left and take Krezcor town and hill. From there, hopefully I could move onto the defensive and ride out the arrival of the Austrian reserves. Good plan, eh? Well, not so much...
|The view from Frederick's position|
|The initial deployment. The Austrian reserves will come on from the top right of the picture. What you see is what you get for the Prussians.|
|The Prussians initially gain the upper hand on their left.|
|The lines close up.|
|In the end the Prussians decide to launch their right hand cavalry into the fray as well, hoping to win a knock-out blow before the Austrian reserves arrive.|
|The Prussians struggle to make any progress in the face of the Austrian artillery|
|The situation at the end of the game. The Prussian cavalry on the right have forced the Austrians into an awkward defensive position. In the centre Bevern is frustrated by the Austrian artillery battery.|
|On the Prussian left a space has been cleared for the Prussian Cuirassiers directly under Frederick, but the Austrians are rallying and are unlikely to be an easy nut to crack.|
So, although we could have played on, it was unlikely that the Prussians were going to change history.
Honours of War are a very good ruleset, but it has been a while since I last played them. There is also quite a difference between playing solo where you can make mistakes and playing an opponent who wants everything to be how the rules say. Considering John had never played them before, he adapted very quickly, but two of us playing such a big battle with the rules the second time out was probably a bit ambitious. I'm going to play a few smaller solo scenarios and make sure that I have the rules down-pat for the next time I play an opponent.
In terms of the Kolin scenario, I think the design has too much artillery. I've seen it mentioned before that artillery is powerful in these rules, and batteries even more so. The Austrians effectively held the centre with their two gun battery as the supporting infantry fell back around them. Charging artillery frontally can be suicidal, but is doable, but not when two guns are firing together. The same for the poor Grenz defending the foremost village. They were kicked out in the first turn by the Prussian battery. I wouldn't mind trying the scenario again with less artillery.